If you’re like me, sometimes you get a leeeeetle carried away with promoting yourself, especially when it’s so easy to do. I mean, really, it takes 20 seconds to create a profile on the newest social networking site and BAM! that’s more promotion for you (and your Emeril for the day).
Do not get me wrong: You will never hear me say “promotion is bad.” That will not pass the lips of the Promo Ho. But you still need to be able to manage your promotion without giving up all your writing time. After all, writing a great book is the best form of promotion.
[“Yeah yeah,” says the peanut gallery. “Everyone always says that, but we came here for promotion ideas and we don’t want to hear, ‘write the best book you know how, rainbows and sunshine and kisses.'” So ok, moving on.]
In reality, setting up a profile just about everywhere is easy, and probably won’t hurt anything, as long as you’re not going to be obsessive about being uber (that was your German for the day) involved in every community. Par example (that was your French for the day), I have a MySpace page which I rarely check. I slapped up the profile years ago and updated it when I started my writing career, and I haven’t paid much attention to it since. Every week or so, I log in to delete the comment spam from hot chicks trying to get me to take surveys, accept friend requests, and generally do on-site clean-up. I used to cross-post all my blogs to MySpace too, but I’m lazy and not of infinite time allowances, so I don’t do that anymore. The point is, it’s free marketing, I have a presence on the site, and it takes next to no time to maintain.
The trick is figuring out where your home base is online and directing people to that. Par example (again), my MySpace page has a link to my main page and my blog. My main page is where you find all my writing info, and my blog is where you find everything you ever wanted to know and more about little old me. All my profiles around the web link to my main page and my blog.
And on my blog, I have links to all my social network sites and various other profiles in my right-hand sidebar, thanks to Profilactic.
Lifestreaming is a new trend in social networking. Basically, the goal of lifestreaming is to get all your social network “feeds” (the pieces of info you update regularly, like your blog) in one centralized place. That’s next to impossible, but Profilactic does a really decent job and is my lifestreamer of choice. Others out there are FriendFeed and MyBlogLog and there are a bunch of others I haven’t tried.
Think of organizing your online life as creating a treasure map. You can leave little pieces of you all over the internet, but your ultimate goal is for people to return to your home base and find the real good stuff.
Good luck! Leave your tips on social networking and lifestreaming in the comments.